Qolsys, new home security/automation manufacturer, launches in Vegas

‘All in one’ IQ Panel, made by Foxconn, works on Alarm.com and Android
 - 
Wednesday, April 10, 2013

LAS VEGAS—The home security and home automation space has a new player: Qolsys. Based in Silicon Valley, the company introduced its first product, the 7-inch touch-screen IQ Panel, at ISC West today.

Qolsys—which stands for “quality of life systems”—is working with well-known technology partners. Its panel uses Alarm.com’s interactive services platform and Google Android for its operating system. Foxconn is manufacturing the panel.

“We chose best-of-breed technology partners,” Qolsys CEO David Pulling told Security Systems News. “That speaks to how we want to redefine what ‘all in one’ means in this space.”

IQ Panel will be professionally installed and monitored. The 7-inch touch screen is the first panel that has “open compute elements in it,” Pulling said. Designed to hang on a wall like a piece of art, the thin white panel is “app-ified,” he said, making it intuitive for homeowners to use. Six wireless technologies—CDMA, WiFi, SRF, Z-Wave, image sensor and Bluetooth—are built in, as is support for five image sensors.

The panel has full dual-path connectivity for redundancy and to make upgrades easier. Software upgrades are “ongoing” as new features are developed, Pulling said.

IQ Panel has a camera onboard that automatically takes a still photo when the panel is disarmed and will stream video during an alarm event.

Also on the panel are recorded videos with information and operating instructions. This feature is designed to reduce calls to the dealer’s customer service center. The panel has text-to-speech features and is embedded with five languages.  

Qolsys has 400 panels in beta now. It expects to take production orders at ISC West and begin shipping at the end of the second quarter. “We’ll leverage Foxconn’s ability to ramp up quickly,” said Mike Hackett, Qolsys VP of sales and marketing, who was at eBay for 10 years before joining the company.
 
Based in Cupertino, Calif., Qolsys was incorporated in 2010. It has 75 employees, “mostly software engineers,” Pulling said. “We also have a software test team in India, and [employees] working with Foxconn in China.”

Jeremy McLerran, director of marketing, came to Qolsys from Pinnacle Security, the summer-model company in Utah. “In my opinion, this is the last panel [any homeowner] will ever have to buy,” he said.

McClarren said IQ Panel is easy to install, competitively priced, has more features and power than competitors’ panels and most importantly, “it’s future-proofed.” Software updates are done automatically, “so you always have the most up-to-date panel. It sits there on the wall updating itself.”  

Pulling has been an entrepreneur since 1990. He’s generated “more than $3 billion in exit capital with two companies sold and one taken public,” according to a statement from Qolsys. He was formerly with NetXen—QLogic, Broadcom, and Ross Technology.

Mark Skeen, VP of life safety and compliance, has led Qolsys’ ETL and Verizon certification and Z-Wave alliance efforts. He is a former San Jose firefighter captain and EVP of the San Jose Police and Firefighters Union. He was also chairman of the union’s retirement board, helping to more than double the organization's managed assets to $2.7 billion. He also worked in private investment ventures in Palo Alto.

Steve Simler, VP of product development (security systems), managed R&D for the IQ Panel. Previously, he held senior positions in data storage, marketing, CRM, and product testing and development for Broadcom, AMD and Connex. He also worked for Lockheed Martin in designing and inventing large-scale satellite-based data collection systems.

Anand Sastry, VP of software development, has 20 years of technical and management experience with telecom and networking software systems. He has overseen the offshore team and home-automation product development. Previously, he was VP of software engineering at Raptor Networks Technology.
 

Comments

We have experienced issues with Verizon's CDMA module while interacting with alarm.com. The module frequently jumps between towers resulting in very delayed receipt of ADC signals and communication failure alerts. We have had to replace various CDMA modules with AT&T 3G units. The IQ panels sounds great, but PLEASE do not limit it to CDMA!! You will lose customers and dealers left and right. It will become a tech support nightmare!

PS- this issue happened within the DFW metroplex and not in some remote town. Big red flag.

So, what steps are being taken to protect the Android OS from hacking/attacking/virus/malware/etc? I hope they Qolsys has a strong security plan for the devices, although that concern was not raised or addressed by this article.